From Sonic Retro

(Redirected from Insta-shield)
First seen: Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994)
User: Sonic the Hedgehog
Type: Attack

The Insta-ShieldMedia:Sonic3 MD US SonicJam manual.pdf[1], known as the Double Spin Attack (W回転アタック) in JapanMedia:Sonic3 MD JP SonicJam manual.pdf[2] and the Twin Spin Attack in Sonic Generations, is a special move first used by Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.


Jumping then pressing the jump button again while in midair generates a brief flash that extends Sonic's attack radius and renders him temporarily invincible. This attack is useful for attacking bosses slightly out of range and spiked enemies, like Orbinauts. No character but Sonic is able to use this technique. In the classic Sonic games, if Sonic jumps from a roll, he'll be unable to change his jump direction and speed. Using the move, however, makes him regain control of the jump. This also happens with Super Sonic, despite the fact that the move itself doesn't actually trigger while Super.

The move reappeared in all three games in the Sonic Advance series, though it is called the Spin Attack in Sonic AdvanceMedia:SonicAdvance GBA US manual.pdf[3], the Double Spin Attack in Sonic Advance 2Media:SonicAdvance2 GBA US manual.pdf[4] and the Wind Attack in Sonic Advance 3Media:SonicAdvance3 GBA US manual.pdf[5]. In these games, the move does not grant brief invincibility like it does in the classic games, making it less useful, and in Sonic Advance 2 attempting to use the move close to an enemy will make Sonic perform a Homing Attack instead. In Sonic Advance 3, the move is executed with the B button rather than the A button, and Sonic must have Knuckles as a partner to perform the move. Tails can perform a similar move known as the Tail Spin AttackMedia:SonicAdvance3 GBA US manual.pdf[6] when he has Knuckles as a partner.

It is not used in any 3D games, due to the fact the "jump, then press jump again while in midair" move was changed to the Jump Dash, or if enemies/items are nearby, the Homing Attack. Sonic Generations brings the move back as an equippable Skill for Classic Sonic that is unlocked by collecting all of the Red Star Rings in Sky Sanctuary Act 1, costing 30 Skill Points to equip.

The move was retroactively added to the 2013 iOS/Android remasters of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 as a hidden ability. To enable it, the player must enable the elemental Shields in the level select menu. It is also unlockable in Sonic Mania by getting at least six Medallions in the Blue Spheres Bonus Stage. It can be used in Mania Mode by toggling Sonic's ability in the Settings menu (Secrets menu pre-v1.04), replacing the Drop Dash.


In Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles, and Sonic Mania, performing the same button sequence while protected by a shield, or transformed into Super Sonic or Hyper Sonic, will cause Sonic to perform other maneuvers.

  • With a Fire Shield, Sonic briefly turns into a fireball and flies across the screen at high speed.
  • With a Water Shield, Sonic bounces in its bubble.
  • With a Lightning Shield, Sonic performs an additional jump (with sparks flying from the shield, though these do nothing).
  • While Hyper Sonic, it causes all Badniks on screen to be destroyed. Sonic is also propelled forwards much as he would be with a Fire Shield, but much faster and able to be directed with the D-Pad. (Also, if dashing to the left or right, Hyper Sonic can glitch through certain kinds of small walls.)
  • With a standard shield (Mania only) or if invincible, nothing will occur.

In other media

Sonic the Comic

In the first part of the two-part Sonic the Comic story "Enter Knuckles" in issue #33, Sonic first uses the move to protect himself from a Pointdexter, to Tails' surprise. When he uses the move again to block Knuckles' attack in the second part of "Power of the Chaos Emeralds" in issue #36, he explains that he creates the Insta-Shield by vibrating the air molecules around him so quickly that it creates a static effect.

Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie comics)

In Archie Comics' Sonic 3 special, Sonic only uses the move once, and does not know how he managed to do so. Much later, he remembers and perfects the technique.

Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English Insta-Shield Insta-Shield
Japanese W回転アタック Double Kaiten Attack
French Bouclier InstantanéMedia:Sonic3 MD EU manual.pdf[7] Instant Shield
German Insta-SchildMedia:Sonic3 MD EU manual.pdf[7] Insta-Shield
Spanish Escudo instantáneoMedia:Sonic3 MD EU manual.pdf[7] Instant shield
Italian Schermo istantaneoMedia:Sonic3 MD EU manual.pdf[8] Instant screen
Dutch Moment-SchildMedia:Sonic3 MD EU manual.pdf[8] Moment-Shield
Swedish ÖgonblickssköldMedia:Sonic3 MD EU manual.pdf[8] Shield of the moment